Meet the organiser: Charlie

Charlie Phillips is the founder and creator of grilled cheese bar and restaurant sensation Morty & Bob’s (if you haven't been, check it out).

Last summer, he got in touch to organise a particularly poignant group cycling trip in memory of his friend, who sadly passed away the year before, and his friend’s grandfather who fought and died during the war.

A group of 13, their journey was to take them from their friend’s memorial bench in Chiswick, down to Newhaven and across the channel, before continuing on to Hinges where they’d pay their respects at the grandfather’s war grave.

The challenge: a group cycling trip without incident

Twelve of the group would be cycling, with one member assigned to driving duties. The group had agreed to keep it to a two-night, three-day excursion and Charlie told us categorically that they did not want to cycle more than 100km in a single day. We sympathised.

It was also important that everyone had their own bed - the thought of sharing doubles after days on a bike did not appeal. We sympathised with that too.

Charlie’s a busy guy and was keen to share the burden of responsibility for organising the trip.

The solution: a balanced route with comfortable accommodation

Our initial conversations were spent working with Charlie to find the best route. The plan was to cycle 70 miles to Newhaven where they’d chuck the bikes in the van and board the ferry to Dieppe.

There they would stay the night before beginning the major part of their journey across France. The war grave was 92 miles from Dieppe, and it was a further 30 miles to the Eurostar.

The packed planners got to work and within 24 hours were able to provide Charlie with a selection of options.

There were three hotel options in Dieppe that could accommodate the group in separate beds, and we found Charlie an excellent 4* hotel in Montreuil-sur-Mer, nicely positioned to break up their route, within the limits imposed...

The booking: made easy with payment splitting

Charlie sent the group our suggestions and they got the thumbs up. All that was left to do was for the group to visit their dedicated booking page and sign themselves up.

As with most group trips booked with packed, everyone paid separately, which saved Charlie the hassle of collecting payments and chasing everyone up. We then booked everything on the group’s behalf and sent over all the confirmations they’d need.

So how did it go?

It was emotional. Here’s Charlie to offer his views:

We loved helping to put together such a special trip. Our goal is to help you spend more time with your favourite people, so if you’re trying to get a group trip together and wouldn’t mind a bit of help, get in touch. It’s what we do.